FDA warns Tessalon cough capsules a risk to kids

WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that Tessalon liquid cough capsules should be kept in child-proof containers because they look like candy and could pose a risk to young children if ingested.

The agency said Tuesday that the drug has been approved to treat cough symptoms in patients older than 10, but its appearance might entice younger children who could suffer serious side effects or die if they take it.

Tessalon is the brand under which the drug benzonatate is sold by a subsidiary of New York-based Forest Laboratories Inc. Generic versions are also on the market.

The FDA says that from 1982 through May of this year, there have been seven cases where children younger than 10 accidentally ingested benzonatate. Five of those children died.

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